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101 Things in 1001 Days: So you'll like to discover how to write more freely - By Julie Jordan Scott

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

So you'll like to discover how to write more freely - By Julie Jordan Scott

I found this article on Amazon.com which I think is great. It’s a little long though.

I literally feel pain when I hear people report their resistance to daily writing practice.
I know - it sounds extreme - and it is also true. I feel pain because I know how much better off I have been since I have started a writing practice – which for me is based on Julia Cameron's suggestion in 'Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity','The Sound of Paper' and more, of writing 3 pages of free flow, stream of consciousness writing every day as early in the morning as I can muster.

For you, free flow writing may be 3 minutes a day. It doesn't matter how much you do - if you do so daily, it will make a difference in your life – pure and simple.

I have learned that people generally stop their writing practice because instead of using this time to spiral up their energy with their words, they use it to spiral down their energy with their words. I know I wouldn't write for very long if I felt worse after writing than I did than before I started writing.

This is one of the reasons I came up with these simple strategies you may follow in order to always have a writing practice which aims towards your increase - making life better – rather than taking you into a tank of despair.

None of us do despair well. If you intentionally aim upwards with your writing, when times of despair DO set in, you notice it more quickly and may shift from it with relative ease. In other words, you manage your doldrums, they don't run you.

Does this make sense so far? If it does, great – keep reading. If it sounds like some form of strange, unknown language, please take a deep breath and re-read it.

It really is easy.

Simply breathe and continue.

1. Write from Your Gratitude List. or from someone else's if you are stuck.
Oprah Winfrey proclaims Gratitude lists changed her life. I believe in them so much I created a website where I post them (almost) every day: http://www.imsograteful.com.
One of my favorite books on this subject is 'Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life'.

2. Write from Affirmations: There are oodles of examples in 'Inner Wisdom (Hay House Lifestyles)' and 'Dynamic Laws of Prosperity'. Even simple affirmations ike "Everyday in everyway things keep getting better and better and better.... like this..." will help frame your writing in the positive.

3. Write using inspirational quotes as your prompt. Need sources? Got some. 'The Change-Your-Life Quote Book';'1001 Motivational Quotes for Success: Great Quotes from Great Minds';'Little Giant Encyclopedia of Inspirational Quotes (Little Giant Encylopedias S.)'

4. Describe in detail the objects around you according to the different senses: how does that object look, feel, smell, taste, sound? I learned so much from reading 'A Natural History of the Senses (Vintage)'

5. Write a letter to your friend, telling him (or her) the many things you enjoy or like about her. If you find your thoughts slowing, choose a different friend. Bonus: send the letter to your friend, hand-written with an envelope and stamp.. wow!

6. If you recognize you are going down a negative path, insert this simple phrase" "This is what I have been making up - the truth is.."

Writing freely will open you up like you have never been opened before. You will discover yourself in ways you have only dreamed.

Does it sometimes hurt? Heck yeah.

Will you feel better after you write, taking the Chitter chatter out of your head and onto the page? Heck, yeah...

Is it worth it? Heck, yeah!

Today - just try it and tomorrow and the next day, try it again.

And curious about what the reward will be for all of this creativity - for me, one reward has simply been having amazing children in my life.

Here is what I mean.

Emma sat back in her chair and crossed her legs, as she took a quintessentially womanly pose.
Brentney and I exchanged glances. We were witnessing the pride of accomplishment echo across the face of my little girl. Emma had just shared her news: she was given an award by her principal that day.

Her award? The Best Writer in Her Class. Yesterday she proclaimed to me, "Mom – I want to take my writing someplace! I need to get published!"

Eight-year-old Emma has written two plays, countless stories and many journal entries in which she passionate laments her opinions, thoughts and dreams. She loves to write.

She frequently carries a notebook and jots random thoughts there. She listens carefully to conversation and thrills when someone makes a particularly enthralling word choice or turns a phrase with grace.

I have been joking with her because I never received a writing award like she did! I never had the principal single me out as best writer… and here I am, a writer!
What I realized instead is that Emma's award is the best reflection of my work I could ever hope to receive.

What inspires Emma to write plays?

She has seen a play I have written produced. She knows of Hal's play, which was taken to Los Angeles after its run here in Bakersfield. She knows she is capable of writing words which people will bring to life before an audience.

She knows she can because she has seen it done.

What inspires Emma to write essays?

Emma came along with me to Katherine's classroom when I spoke to the class, reading the newly released "Chicken Soup for the Soul of America" with my essay included. She heard me talk about my longtime love of writing and how my continued commitment towriting brought my words into a best seller.

She knows her words are important and valued because she has seen others value words.
I remember in the fifth grade, Joe Carr won a writing award. I wanted it so badly, but he received it. Joe was always a nice guy. I have no idea what happened to him, but I can still see his slim, gangly fifth-grade boy-self walking towards the stage at Glen Ridge Middle School while I sat in my seat smiling and applauding with not much enthusiasm.

Joe's parents were both teachers at Glen Ridge High School. I wonder if they wrote in the quiet hours of the night once the papers were graded and Joe's homework was done? I wonder if he watched them making careful word choices and crossing out phrases that just didn't click.

I wonder, what ever became of Joe's parents?

I wonder, does Joe still write?

I hope he does.

Gloria Steinhem said, "Writing is the only thing that passes the three tests of metier: (1) when I'm doing it, I don't feel that I should be doing something else instead; (2) it produces a sense of accomplishment and, once in a while, pride; and (3) it's frightening."

There is something joyful about being frightened to do something and doing it. There is something exhilarating about accomplishing whatever we set out to do. There is something incredibly fulfilling about being caught so completely in the moment that we know, without a doubt, that we are exactly where we are supposed to be in that moment.

Writing. That is it – the award and the reward is simply in the act itself. Writing.


Blogger Delaleuverses said...

I really enjoyed reading this, being an avid writer sometimes it can get discouraging, thanks for sharing

Friday, July 21, 2006  
Anonymous Hundred and one said...

You're very welcome

Friday, July 21, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love the Gloria Steinem quote.

Saturday, July 22, 2006  

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